Ikarus Stellarmate and Stellarmate OS

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Ikarus Stellarmate and Stellarmate OS

Postby GanymedRN » Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:05 am

I was looking for a while for a smaller more lightweight solution to control mount and cameras.
I checked all kinds of solutions like PrimaLuce Eagle, Astroberry, ASIAir and Stellarmate.
I recently bought the Stellarmate OS solution and want to summarize my experiences.

Stellarmate Gadget and Stellarmate OS run on a Raspberry PI model 3B and are based on Ubuntu Linux with INDI drivers and the well known KStars and Ekos programs.
Stellarmate Gadget sells for US$179 and comes with the Raspberry PI in a plastic case a programmed microSD card (32GB class 10) and a power supply.
You can upgrade to a larger microSD and add i.e. a EQDIR cable.
StellarMate OS is only the image for the microSD card and you need to have the Raspi, powersupply, microSD card, ...
Stellarmate OS sells for US$49 and can be downloaded as an image for a microSD card.

In general it combines a wealth set of functions that an astronomer would need.
- Imaging control
- Mount control
- Autofocus
- Plate Solving
- Guiding (Ekos or PHD2)
- Dome control
- Control other equipment

Here my first experiences with StellarMate OS:
Download and payment (PayPal) worked very well.
Downloaded the portable version of Etcher and programmed a 32GB and a 64GB microSD with it.
The 32GB version leaves around 23GB for images on the SD card around 56GB where free on the 64GB card.
I put the card into my Raspi 3B+ (including a real time clock module) connected ASI178MM and ASI294MC Pro as well as the NEQ6 using a self made EQDIR cable (FTDI based) to USB.
Powered the Raspi
Downloaded and installed the StellarMate app (free) to my Android tablet and started it.
Connected the tablet WLAN to the stellarmate network provided by the Raspi and used the VNC viewer in the app to get to the Ubuntu desktop.
Started KStars and Ekos.
After selecting the correct equipment I started INDI and everything was found.
I could take images with both cameras and also control the mount.
First light still has to wait as the weather wasn't allowing further tests.

I was surprised how easy it was to get StellarMate OS running even for me not really being a linux expert. It took around 20 minutes (excluding the time to flash the micro SD card) to connect mount and cameras and take the first images.
More testing will follow.

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